Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Excited for 2014

I have spent a good part of my life feeling like I’m behind and working hard to get where I want to go…To be the woman I’m supposed to be…. 

Physically I was behind because my weight and fitness were out of control. I was not the woman I wanted to be…. 

Mentally I was behind…well because I always thought there was something wrong with me. I had fears and inadequacies that stopped me from being the woman I wanted to be…..


Spiritually I was behind because I did not know the Bible well enough. Did not know my Lord well enough…. I was not the woman I wanted to be…. 

For the first time in my life….I FINALLY do not feel like I’m behind. I am right where I'm supposed to be. I AM THE WOMAN I WANT TO BE!!! 

My weight is…not in the normal range….YET!!! But I’m so close that it feels achievable!! I no longer feel that I can’t do it. I can and I will reach this goal!! 

My fitness level is better than it’s been since I was a kid!! I can run, walk, skip, jump rope, do jumping jacks, burpies….(don’t like em, but I can do them!!), I can water ski and surf, row, lift weights, swim, bike and garden and and and…..I can do so many things!!! 

My mind is healthy! I don’t fear like I used to. I don’t feel inadequate or lacking. I like people, they like me. I give out of our abundance and lack. I’m creative and have an awesome outlook of life! 

Spiritually….I am humbled…..So grateful to the Lord for all He has given me. Delighted for His teachings, lessons, discipline, guidance, love, joy, grace, mercy and so much more!!! 

I am optimistic for 2014!! For me, this is a turning point year! Goals will be met. New challenges and risks will be taken. New friend will be met. Old Friends will be contacted.  Broken relationships will be mended. New places will be visited. Doors will be opened!!! 

Life will be lived!! 

How about you….Are you taking 2014 on? Do you have goals set? Are you ready to change your life? Are you ready to live?? 

Join me in making this the best year ever!! 

Have a fit day!



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

We Froze Our Bells Off

The Jingle Bell Run was a blast. Well is was a freezing blast anyway!! I think at race time it was 10 degrees. Needless to say, I did not run it, because we were half frozen by the time the race started and I could not feel most of my feet. I was afraid, if I ran, that I would trip and fall. My feet just did not want to warm up! Anyway, it was fun walking with my thousands of crazy friends! It's such a fun event!!

How are you doing? Are you making your Christmas wish of reaching your optimal health and fitness this season?

I'm doing it! I am still working my plan and I've lost another pound! (Weight loss ticker has not been updated yet)

90 pounds gone so far!!! I only have 44 more pounds to go, to reach my goal. That is amazing!!

If you would like to know how I'm doing this please email me, your phone number and the best times to call, to transparent.joy@gmail.com. I would love to tell you more!

Keep up the great work. REMEMBER....to eat healthy foods, drink your water, exercise and get plenty of rest during this busy and stressful season.

You've got this!!

Have a fit day!!!!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Revving Up For The Weekend!!

OK, for me, it officially begins this weekend......parties, gatherings, dinners out, food, food, food.......everyone is celebrating with.....FOOD!!!!!!!!!

Crept' me!!!

Even though it's the holidays, I'm still working my plan.  I have my goals of reaching optimal health and fitness in front of me. Do you?

I'm running into 2014 with a plan and I'm not letting anything stop me!!!  This year I'm going to reach New Year's Day feeling great instead of feeling fat and defeated.  Knowing that I have to re-lose weight that I just lost!!!!  I'm not doing that again. 


Let's make this the best and most fit and healthy holiday season ever!!!!!

Work you plan. Eat healthy foods and fuel your body with good things.....not SUGAR!!!! Drink your water, exercise and most importantly, get your rest!!!

We've got this!!!

Have a fit day!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Post Thanksgiving Check In

Whew....It's been a whirlwind week!! I was so happy to go back to work yesterday so I could rest. Ahummm.....

Still working my plan!! I was down 1/2 pound, even after a holiday, which included, 2 Thanksgiving meals, all the stress, weariness and inactivity. Even with all that, the weight is still coming off!

My whole goal was not to gain anything. So with a 1/2 pound loss...I was thrilled!!

For the first Thanksgiving meal, I chose steak, mashed cauliflower, with low fat gravy and veggies. I did get to have a See's Candies Truffle, which I thoroughly enjoyed! Then on Sunday, we had another meal with turkey, mashed potato etc. I just had a very small plate. Also, my appetizers were veggies with low fat dip.

I did not feel deprived at all! I had plenty to eat and still felt like I was involved with the festivities!

So far, I've been able to avoid the holiday goodies at work! Sometimes it can be a struggle....especially when the canned popcorn comes in. I love that stuff!!

How did you do? Are you strategically planning for the next weeks of food and fun?

Lets make this the best December ever! Be sure to eat healthy meals every day! Drink your water!! Exercise!!! And get plenty of rest!!!!

Lets enter into 2014 healthier and fit!

Have a fit day!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Are you doing your best? For you?

I recently heard some things from others that I find interesting....A couple of people have shared that as they are trying to make changes in their lives, the people who surround them are telling them with their words, that they are there for them, they will support them and they are excited for the changes that are happening, but then....

Their actions prove differently.....

I've heard....

There are spouses out there who will lure their loved one into to eating things they shouldn't! They stop them from going for a run or going to an exercise class. And/or they will bring home a favorite treat for a surprise.

I  also heard that there are some BFF's out there, who at lunch would say, "Oh, you must have so and so, oh and please have another drink, I can't be doing this without you?" Oh and here's a good one. "Oh, you are getting waaaay too skinny!" (Personally, I can't wait to hear that one!!)

How about at the office....This happened to me, someone brought in their grandma's best recipe for chocolate cake, and a co-worker practically shoves a bite into my mouth. (Sadly, a little made it in and frankly......it was not that good - wasted calories!!!)

Or here's a good one.....Do you, yourself sabotage your own journey....Do you fill your day so full of things, that you just have to put everyone else ahead of your own needs? Oh and because you are so tired, your kids beg you to go through the drive through...just one more time!! AND YOU DO IT!!!!!

If so, none of these things will help you reach your optimal health and fitness.

You are holding off your best because of something or someone else!!

Don't let it happen.....Don't let others tempt you.....Don't let them bump you off of your health and fitness goals. Don't you allow yourself to do it either!!

We have a lot of work to do!! We are important and we need to get this done!!! Stand up for yourself today and boldly ward of ANYTHING that gets in your way to your optimal health and fitness!!


Have a fit day!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Scale and Non Scale Victories

Looking for some scale and non-scale VICTORIES……

Do you have some to share?

We all need to be aware of and CELEBRATE the small and large victories we get while we are on our journey. I would love to share some of yours!!

If you are interested, in sharing, please email your victories to me at transparent.joy@gmail.com.  I will post them and link your blog for others to follow your progress!

Let’s CELEBRATE your success!!

Today my scale victory is I’m down to 185 pounds!!! That’s another 4 pounds down – Woo Hoo!! Also, I’m sitting here typing with MY LEGS CROSSED, daintily under my desk. It’s been years and years…probably 30 years since I've been able to do that. That’s something to celebrate!!!!!

Have a fit day!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's Just a Window "Pain"

It's a bright crisp Oregon Sunday morning and I'm so enjoying it. While reading my Bible and enjoying my day, all of a sudden I hear a tremendous crash!

This tiny bird, who obviously had a tremendous goal within its sights, ran directly into my window....Not sure if it hit it because the window was so clean (ha ha) that he did not see it...or if the goal was so big, it did not matter!

Has this ever happened to you?

Have you ever been suddenly stuck or stopped in your plans to reach your optimal health and fitness goals? Have you had your goals in sight, you were focused...you were aiming right for it, and just before you get there, you see the window (an obstacle) right in your way? And because the pain of that broken glass (Life's problem - too busy, sad, divorce, problems with kids, THE HOLIDAYS, family issues, work issues, sickness, too tired, THE HOLIDAYS, etc) you abandoned your goals?

Are you going to let those obstacles keep you from reaching your goals?

Or are you going to be like that bird...You're going for it, no matter the "pain" of any obstacle that's in your way and you are going to reach your goals!!!! NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!

Do anything and everything you can to achieve your dreams!! You won't regret it!!

Have a fit day!!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Are you ready for maintenance?

Hi Friends,

Are you ready for maintenance? Are you close? Have you even thought about what you would do when you finally reach your goal?

Well..I'm happy to share some tips from our own Inspirational World Changer Traci from Choosing Joy!!

Joy - Do you feel like you have more confidence?

Traci - I've been asked this question a few times and the answer is complicated. At first I had SO much confidence and exuberance about how I felt. I noticed I held my head up, walked straighter, spoke strongly. Then there was a subtle change. Before weight loss many of the things I didn't like about how people treated me, I had chalked up to my weight. Once the weight was no longer an issue, I had to face the fact that maybe the problem was ME! That realization really opened my eyes to WHY people regain weight. It's because we lose our excuses for being a bitch, or short-sighted, or any number of character flaws. It is certainly convenient to be able to blame something outside of ourselves for our problems.

Now that some time has gone by with me at this size that feeling of over-confidence has ebbed a bit, to the place I look at situations  more rationally and  reflect on MY part and MY responsibility. BTW, this is where some of my fears about regaining weight come in. If before people reacted negatively towards me because I was fat, and now I know that it was more likely because I was being a bitch--- if I regain weight am I just a fat bitch at that point? That's not a pretty thought, but if all the above is true, then the final statement must be true.

Joy - Have you found that doors are open to you, that were shut when you were over weight?

Traic - I find that I FORCE doors open.  For instance I'm typing this at a training I pretty much invited myself to. I'm less afraid of rejection.  The thing is I could have always opened these doors, but now I just open them rather than WISH they could be open.

Joy - Are you more active?

Traci - Before I lost weight, I hurried home after work to be able to sit and watch TV. On a perfect day, I was able to sit for 6 - 7 hours. Really. Dinner was generally take out for my husband and myself. Looking back, if I moved 3000 steps a day I would be surprised. Not to mention I'm surprised I only weighed 258.

When I started losing weight and working out, very quickly my body began responding and I grew to CRAVE movement. There were months where I worked out AM and PM - 6/7 days a week. Many fitness professionals expressed concern that I would burn out. What they didn't understand was that my body was waking up from years of idleness and there was a feeling of 'catching up'  Unfortunately, the body isn't set up to work out that much and I began having small, cascading injuries.  My left knee started to ache and because I favored it, the right knee began hurting, then the hips, and ankles, and shoulders. Before I backed off to a reasonable level, every single joint hurt with tendinitis or a sprain or an outright tear -  all clear signs of overuse. 

At this point, I was probably 10 months or so into my journey and no where near my goal weight. But I became AFRAID to back off even one day. The injuries woke me up and I started taking off Sundays. Dialing back to idea of "why was I heavy?" I discovered I was using exercise to self-medicate my anxiety. That's when I started seeing a therapist and that was a great idea!! 

Now my activity level is still high, but it's at a sustainable level.  I spin (indoor cycling) 2x a week, strength training 2x a week, running  2x a week, yoga 4x a week, group ex 2x a week, and long stretching after every cardio session. Yes, it sounds like a lot, but it works for me.

Another change is that I TEACH fitness classes. I got my AFAA certification and spinning certification. I teach spinning one day a week and sub in two other gyms.

As you saw, I also am running 5k's now. In my heart, I'd love to train for a half-marathon, but I don't see that happening. One piece of my puzzle is my cross-training. To train for a half, it would be necessary to give up some other activities. Right now, I love what I do too much to give up anything. If in time I find myself bored or itching for a change, I'd look at distance running as a new option.

Joy - Did you change your lifestyle (food/activity level) to avoid gaining back the weight. I actually know someone right now who is mad because she's tried every diet in town and has lost weight, but once she's off of them and goes back to her old lifestyle, the weight came right back.....hummm. I image there needs to be a great lifestyle change to maintain weight loss, right? 

Traci - This is my 3rd trip to the weight loss rodeo. The other two times I was not able to hold onto the weight loss. I approached weight loss then as an event, rather than a new way of living. 

Oddly enough, I eat more now than I did early on in the process. At the beginning, I was all about denial, denial, denial. Eat nothing, live on air. That approach did not serve me well. Gradually, after working with a nutritionist, I adjusted my diet to about 1800 calories with a 45% carb/30% protein/25% fat balance.  At the beginning, I was eating maybe 1000 calories - mostly carbs. How I did not injure myself more is a right mystery.

I actually had a conversation with myself early on, in which I said "You've had all the fettuccine Alfredo, french fries, fried chicken, buttered potatoes, fried shrimp, potato chips, Snickers bars you're ever going have. Accepting that fact NOW will help you years down the road."  And I have. Those favorite foods have become very rare treats. VERY RARE!!  That conversation ended up being very important in setting up my intention that this is a  new way of living. As long as I want to be at this weight, there are certain key foods for me that must, must stay OUT of my diet. There are no other options.

I've had people tell me that they can't live with "_________."  I respond with the same answer, "then don't live without it, but accept the impact on your weight loss. You cannot have it both ways."

Another thing I did was put in what I call "safety nets." My safety nets were my very close friends who know a lot about me and promised me early on that if they saw me doing the wrong things they would do whatever they needed to get me back on track. I also became a fitness instructor, and am earning my Registered Yoga Training - 200 level. At first all of these things  were needed. Now I can look back and recognize they are no longer vital; as a visual, I'm no longer on a tightrope, but more on a balance beam. I have some play.

One more comment on food. I'm currently sitting in a meeting where there are donuts, cookies, and brownies available to me - less than 3 feet away.  I haven't had a single bite, although I certainly could. Why don't I? I look at those items and recognize they are processed, filled with unhealthy fats and sugars. I don't choose to put those ingredients in my body. They do not fuel what I need to do adequately. Now, if there were fruits, veggies, and homemade sweets, I'd be piling my plate up. Sugars are not a problem as much as artificial ingredients.  I pre-planned and brought healthy snacks I enjoy eating and know are what I need.

Joy - Why did you quit blogging? Do you have another blog that features health and fitness? Was blogging a tool that helped you stay on track? 

Traci - Blogging was a great way to share what was going on in my life. But I began a new job and my attention became quite scattered. Things have settled down and I'll be posting more and more

Traci - Just a couple of random thoughts I can add.

Joy, I was a 100% honest, and perhaps raw with my answers. These are some things I wish I'd been told months ago.

This process is hard because of the fundamental changes in food, activity, and self-acceptance.  However, it is worth EVERY SINGLE  BIT of effort I've put in. But something more subtle. I am worth this effort not because I'm at a normal weight but because I'm a human being with my own unique wonderfulness. I was always worth it.  

I look back at the person I was - 250+ pounds, a total couch potato with horrible eating habits, on 9 different medications, mostly related to excess weight.  There was a time that person disgusted me - fat, lazy slob. Now I'm in total awe of that person. With all her faults and limitations, she had the courage to change. She had the courage to take that step into the unknown. She was far braver than the present me is. The current me KNOWS a lot from personal experience. The me of July 2011 had only hope - and acted on that hope. Amazing.

My message to anyone trying to lose weight is this. It's long term. You CANNOT lose 100 pounds until you have lost 7, or 18, or 39, or 72. Every pound counts. Do whatever you have to do in your mind to get yourself to know that all the way down to your core. But also know it's exciting. For those just starting on that journey, I'm a tinge jealous because the ride is so fabulous and exciting. Enjoy it!


WOW Traci - You are an Inspirational World Changer!! Thank you for sharing!! Every time I have read your story, and these maintenance tips I get teary eyed, goosebumps and it fills me with excitement to keep on with my journey!! Thank you so much for your encouragement, knowledge and guidance!! 

Anyone else out there who has a question about maintenance? You can ask Traci questions at her blog Choosing Joy.

Anyone else on maintenance? Do you have some tips to share? Please email me at transparent.joy@gmail.com.

Have a fit day!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Meet Traci and Choosing Joy!!

So proud to introduce Traci from Choosing Joy!! Check out her story!!! She's beat the battle of obesity!! She's in maintenance now!! How excited are you to get there? Traci is an INSPIRATIONAL WORLD CHANGER!!! I can't tell you how proud I am of her!! It will be amazing to watch the next phase of her health and fitness!! Here's her story....

On July 1, 2011, I began my second life. That date is more important to me than my real birthday, as it is the day I was reborn.

As every birth of a child is hard, my journey has been no different. It was and is hard. But as every birth of a long waited for child is a reason for celebration, so is mine.

On July 1, 2011,  my weight was 258. 

On November 1, 2013, my weight was 154.

How did I do it?

Oh dear ones, I have to use a cliche that I really don't like.

It was one day at a time.

But to dig a bit deeper, the process also involved not giving up even when...

I went to bed in tears from the pain of working out
The scale refused to budge for weeks and months
My clothes didn't get bigger
No one noticed
I was hungry

I just kept telling myself "It will work. Everything you are doing will work in time, give it another month, two months, three months. Just please believe, and keep following the plan."

Another thing I did that was helpful was that I saw a therapist about why I weighed so much in the first place. She became a tremendous support.

Those of you that have read my blog also know that practicing yoga became vital.  It was on my mat that I first found peace and in time I learned how to take that peace off the mat. Trust me, it's still a bitter process at times, but easier every day.

Would I do anything differently? No, I wouldn't, except  I wish I had trusted more and worried less.

And the process? What did I actually DO?


Workout - 
Cardio that got my heartrate up 5 days a week 45 minutes to an hour
Yoga 3 days a week
Strength training 2 days a week
Rest day 1 day a week (although I didn't do a rest day for months, that took a long time to trust that I wouldn't quit after having a day off)

Diet - 
About 1800 calories with 45% carbs, 30% protein, 25% fat. Very few processed foods, with tons of chicken, good starches, fruits, and veggies.

That's it - no magic combination, no withholding of any food really. I ate and still eat what I want, but in limited portions.

There is one more thing I did that I don't always give full credit for. There were 3 close friends that knew everything I was going through - including my starting weight, which was hard to admit, but it was good that I did.  By being brutally honest with them in the beginning, they were able to remind me of the progress and point out milestones that were easy to forget when when I was depressed.

Although you most likely never see this, Natalie, Erin, and Denise. I love each of you dearly. You have a piece of me in you and I trust you to hold that piece with care. And you do.

The payoff -
No more medications
My body feels alive
Endorphins kick ass
I am more healthy at 51 than I was at 21

For those of you struggling with weight, I beg you to not give up.

You CAN do this
You are stronger than you know
You are worth the struggle

Thoughts to take with me today: I am not thin, I am healthy - inside and out - and that's pretty cool.

I just checked out her blog and she's running 5k's like crazy!! Keep up the fantastic and amazing work Traci!!

Check out Traci's blog and follow her amazing journey to optimal health and fitness!!

Have a fit day!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Meet Mary @ A Small Loss

It's my honor to introduce Mary from A Small Loss. She's an Inspirational World Changer. She's been working on her health and fitness plan and she's made some amazing changes in her life. Here's her story...

In July 2010, I was 23 years old and weighed 345 pounds. I realized that I needed to make some major lifestyle changes - I had just finished grad school, and decided that I needed to nourish my body the way I had with my mind.

So, I started eating better, eating less, and moving more - it started with walks around my neighborhood because it was all I could do, and my first weight loss goal was to lose enough weight to be able to use Wii Fit. I walked a few 5/8K races, and after losing 50 pounds, I started C25K. Since running my first 5K in January 2011, I have ran several other 5Ks, a few 8 and 10Ks, and completed my first half marathon in January 2012.

I lost 150 pounds in exactly 1 year, and maintained the loss for over a year while transitioning from life in Chicago to living in a much smaller city in California. After a year, I relocated back to Chicago to be with (my now husband) Matt, who has also lost nearly 100 pounds.

My biggest hurdle with weight maintenance came when Matt and I found out we were expecting in late summer 2012. Nothing tasted good to me! I ate a lot of plain pasta and crackers, and the weight came back on. By the time I delivered our son in May 2013, I was up nearly 100 pounds.

Since then, I've been fighting to get back to where I was pre-pregnancy, especially since I still had about 30 pounds I would have liked to have lost! Relosing the weight is frustrating - I saw these numbers already once! - but I know it is absolutely worth it. I want to be a healthy wife and mother, not to mention that I want to feel my best just for my own good!

I have been diligently tracking my food on http://www.myfitnesspal.com/oh_mg">MyFitnessPal
, and after a busy few months of being a new mom, moving from Chicago to South Carolina, and starting a new job, I've started working out again. Slowly but surely, I'm getting back to where I was - I'm within 5 pounds of my 100 pound weight loss milestone, and feeling very excited and determined to reclaim that!

Thank you Mary!! Keep up the great work!! You are making it happen!!! 

Check out Mary's blog and follow her amazing progress!!!

Have a fit day!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Inspirational World Changers

I am looking for Inspirational World Changers!!

You might be asking.... what is that?

Well there are times, frankly most days, I am looking for inspiration and hope to help propel me on my journey to optimal health and fitness. What I'm looking for, are people who are actually working their plan, daily, and achieving their optimal health and fitness goals. Sadly what I'm finding, is there are a lot of people struggling to get this done. Some people are stuck and sadly, some of my blog friends have quit all together. I bet some of your friends have quit too!

So I was thinking, if I need inspiration, I bet you do too!!! I need, we need, to see some inspiration, some hope and lots of people living out their healthy lifestyles. We need to see success!!!!!!

There are some people out there that are doing just that! And I've decided that I would like to spotlight those people, on my blog, who are working their plans and reaching toward their optimal health and fitness goals. These people are Inspirational World Changers!!!

Yes - they are inspirational and they are world changers, because their stories just might help propel someone to change their lives to reach optimal health and fitness!! 

You can be an Inspirational World Changer too...if you are working your plan, daily, have lost weight, you are exercising and you are reaching or have reached your optimal health and fitness goals. If so, I would love to hear from you!! 

Here's what I want to know....
  • Where you started? (Weight, date started etc)
  • What is your current weight / fitness level?
  • What is your ultimate Health & Fitness goal?
  • What are you doing to achieve your health & fitness goals (Diet, exercise plan etc)?
  • What obstacles have you overcome and how you did you do it?
  • What new things can you do that you could never do before?
  • How has your health changed? (Off meds, lower blood pressure etc)
  • What words of wisdom do you have?
  • Send pictures!!
Yes that’s right….if you are working your plan and reaching your goals, your story just might help change the world and help us fight the battle of obesity!!

If you are interested in submitting your story, please email your story and pictures to transparent.joy@gmail.com.  I will post your story and link your blog for others to follow your progress!
So excited to watch you achieve your optimal health and fitness!!! 

Have a fit day!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Holiday Survival Tips

The holidays are upon us!! Are you ready? Don't forsake your health and fitness for a couple months of indulgence!! Lets roll into 2014 on a positive note!! Lets get ahead start on our health and fitness. 2014 will be a life changing year!!!! Lets do this!!

Don’t go hungry!
It’s important to eat at regular times throughout the day before attending your special event so you don’t go hungry. Eating small frequent meals helps keep your energy levels even, and your hunger at bay, and makes you less likely to give in to temptations. Enjoying a nutritious meal before attending a holiday party will help keep you satisfied. While there, remember these special events should be treated like a small frequent meal and not an eating frenzy.

Avoid portion distortion
Use the smallest plate available for built-in portion control. Fill your plate with healthy choices
first, like fresh vegetables and salad, and lean proteins. Limit or skip foods that are high in calories
and low in nutritional value.

Get Creative
You don’t necessarily have to give up traditional favorites...just modify them. Stay on track!
Meal recommendations: Roasted chicken, turkey, lamb, or lean beef paired with spinach salad and
steamed green beans makes for a great holiday meal and a healthy waistline without leaving you
feeling deprived. Sauté with broth rather than butter, use sugar-free gelatin rather than regular in Jell-O® molds, and use low- or fat-free choices rather than higher fat versions, e.g., substitute low-fat sour cream for regular.

Ask for help
Remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself! Get your family and friends into the holiday spirit by assigning tasks for everyone. Send your spouse to the store (with a very specific list!) while the kids clean assigned areas of the house. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to bring a dish for all to enjoy.

Leftover food often finds its way into our mouths rather than the storage containers we intended.
Help yourself by choosing a clean-up job away from food (such as washing the dishes) while someone else clears plates and puts away leftovers.

Here are a few suggestions for using up your leftovers:
  Offer some to neighbors, coworkers, and friends—
     especially cakes and pies.
  Divide leftovers and freeze for a quick lunch or dinner
     when you’re in a rush or don’t have time to prepare a
     meal for the family.

 Be creative and invent new recipes!

Planning Ahead
Develop a plan of action and you’ll be much more likely to enjoy the holiday season, confident in your abilities to navigate those sometimes tricky scenarios. A plan of action is a written strategy detailing the steps you’ll take to keep yourself on track with your weight- and health-management goals. Take time to create several plans of action, individualizing them for the various situations you’ll be faced with this season—from family events to office parties to dining with friends. Learning to manage your caloric intake is no different than managing your checkbook, car maintenance, or kid’s schedules. It takes commitment to focus on your health goals.

Choose (non) tempting treats 
Choose to make or buy holiday treats that are easy for you to resist. If you’re a chocolate lover, offer licorice or hard candy, or make fruit-flavored baked goods. Love all things sweet? Give out miniature packets of pretzels, peanuts, or sugar-free gum, or make personalized gifts that don’t involve food (such as candles or place settings).

Chew, chew, chew!
It typically takes the stomach 15 to 20 minutes to signal the brain that you’ve had enough food.
Savor each bite by eating slowly and allow yourself to hear when you are full. This is an
important skill to learn. Skip second helpings (which could double your caloric intake) by standing away from the food, keeping yourself occupied, and enjoying the company of those around you.

Hectic schedules
There never seems to be enough time to plan, clean, shop, and cook. Manage your time by writing out your daily schedule before your events. Determine what you can do in specific time frames and only commit to what you know you can accomplish.

Make time for your body
Exercise can help you burn and/or bank calories, which helps you to balance your calories consumed with your calories expended. Get your friends and family involved by suggesting group activities (such as walks or sports challenges) that focus on physical health and take the emphasis
off food!

F o c u s on friends
Holidays are intended to be social gatherings with friends and family, not eating frenzies. Emphasize the social interaction. Plan activities to make the day special: Visit a local holiday gift shop, volunteer at a food bank, or attend local parades or other celebratory events. If possible, include group walks or sports activities so that you can burn calories while having fun. By focusing on the company of those around you, you can celebrate the true spirit of the holidays and make lasting memories with your family and loved ones.

p r o c r a s t i n a t e
If you plan on serving candy or sweets, purchase or make these items at the last possible moment. Early purchases or baking can increase the risk of being caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

Think your drink
Beverages, especially alcoholic choices, can be packed with calories. Opt for zero-calorie beverages such as unsweetened iced tea, coffee, seltzer water, diet soda, and water. If others are indulging in alcoholic drinks, volunteer to be the designated driver—it’s the perfect excuse to graciously decline any alcoholic beverage! For those in
Maintenance who choose to indulge, avoid extra calories by limiting your drink selection to one or two light beers, glasses of wine or cocktails made with spirits and zero-calorie mixers (such as rum and diet soda) and of course, please drink responsibly.

Strut your stuff
Use the holidays as an opportunity to be a role model for healthier living to those around you. Demonstrate the secrets of successful life-long maintainers by balancing moderate holiday indulgences with wise nutrition/food choices and increased physical activity!!

Bring your own
If your event is a potluck, bring a healthy dish that you can enjoy. A taco salad made with greens, tomatoes, scallions, green peppers, and taco-seasoned ground turkey is sure to be a hit, and makes a great meal. If your event is not a potluck, bring a hostess gift of fresh vegetables and low-fat dip.

Food gifts
Well before the holidays, ask your friends and family to forego food gifts. If you still get them, thank the person and either serve the food to others or give it away to someone else. This way, you won’t hurt the giver’s feelings, you’ll eliminate your own temptation, and you’ll save yourself the time and energy of preparing holiday treats for others.

Travel with your inspiration
If you’re traveling this holiday season, take along something that inspires you to stay on track with your health goals. Maybe your inspiration is a picture of you at your goal weight, a special poem, music that enlightens you, or an inspirational saying.

Keep your hands and mouth busy
Put a stick of sugar-free gum or a sugar-free mint in your mouth to stop the nibbling. Keep your hands busy and away from tempting foods by holding a calorie-free beverage in your dominant hand at all times.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint!!!!!
One slip-up or occasional indulgence will not ruin your chances of long-term weight-management success. If you find yourself doing some unintended overeating, the best thing to do is get back on track immediately rather than waiting to restart or allowing this one lapse to become a relapse into old habits.

Don’t forget, we don’t have to wait for a holiday or a special event to take the time to be thankful for the good things we have in our lives. By being thankful every day, you can learn to focus on the positive, and this positive thinking will help you stay healthy and well.


Contents from Medifast (Modified)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Well I can't believe it.....but this is me!

Down 88 pounds so far and reaching closer to my goal. I'm 186 pounds right now. Just 6 pounds away from the last time I remember my weight before I ballooned up.

Years ago, I remember weighing in at 180 pounds, then the next thing I knew I was well over 200 pounds. And gradually through the years I had gained another 74 pounds. Topping out at 274. Yikes!!

It's been an amazing journey!! I'm finally losing weight and I am reaching for optimal health and fitness. With this new program that I'm on, I can see my goal of reaching 140 pounds is in sight!! Can't wait!!

Let me know if you are interested in reaching your weight loss goals in 2014. Email me at transparent.joy@gmail.com. Please forward your phone number and best time to call you back.

Come on...Lets rock 2014!!

You've got this!!

Have a fit day!!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Do you know your "WHY"?

Are you struggling with something? Something you want to do, something big? Are you stuck?? You are? Me too!!

I'm facing some daunting things in my life. Fun things, inspiring things, things that will help change peoples lives. Things that will change my life forever!! The most amazing things.....

And I'm scared!!!

Do you ever feel this way?


This morning, I was feeling so overwhelmed with all of the possibilities. Excited, scared, excited, scared. My emotions were all over the place!!!

In complaining to my mentor, by email, I sent her all the reasons for my fears and failures....And as I was writing out all my Wah~Wahs and shortcomings, telling her my failures, I realized that I was also writing out my "Why". Why I want to do what I want to do.

The "Whys" was coming out strong and clear that I want to make a difference in this world, I want get to my goal weight and be fit and I want to help people! Not just help them with weight loss and fitness, but also spiritually and even down to food and clothes if that need is necessary.


Most of my Wah~Wah's and crying was due to all of the obstacles that I've been getting, stopping me, or slowing me down from achieving my ultimate goal in helping people.

I realized this morning, that no matter what.....those obstacles are not going to stop me. I'm going to push through them.


I'm facing some running events in the near future. Right now....I'm at the beginning of my training. My goal is to run some 5k's between November - February, a 15k in March, 2 half marathons in May, 1 half marathon in June and a mini triathlon in July.

Did I say I had some daunting goals ahead?

YES I do!!

Right now, thinking about it, makes me a little queasy!! So I had to stop and think about this.

Do I even want to do this? If so, "Why" do I want to do this?

Am I doing this just for the recognition....the medals....the bibs that hang on the wall......?

Or am I doing it for the right reasons - For my physical health, mental health and my own healthy competition?

I've decided that I'm doing it for my overall health and because I love to run....I love getting that runners high and I really do love the discipline it takes to accomplish this type of goals! That is the reason. That is my "Why" I do what I do!

If I did not have the right reason for doing what I do, then I would have needed to make the decision to not participate in this activity.

My goodness, life is short! There is no reason why we should push ourselves into things that we really don't want to do. If you are like me and you do that to yourself, the stress and pressure of it all can put me into bed for days. I get physically sick - I can't handle the pressure. This is so not worth it.

The other thing is, if I feel like I'm doing something I'm not "supposed" to do for myself, then I'm wasting my time and delaying things that I really "need" to do.

So for the big things in my life....Right now, I'm finding my "Why" for each thing. If the end results of what I'm trying to do, does not line up with my "Why", then I'm making a decision not to do those things. No more wasting time....No more frustration....No more Stress!!!

Once I found my "Why", I realized that I am no longer afraid. My resolve to achieve my goals is stronger and now, instead of feeling overwhelmed and scared. I am energized and ready to charge forward to reach my goals!!!

I've made up my mind.....I'm preparing for my races and to tackle the other big things in my life!! They are lining up with my "Why" and I'm going for it!!

How about you? Are you ready to discover you "WHY"?

Have a fit day!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Still Got It!!!!

Went to the gym yesterday with my friend.  It was the first time that I ran after losing 26 more pounds. I have to say that it was amazing!!!!!

I had not really run very far since July, when I was 26 pounds heavier. At that time my feet, ankles and back we're bugging me.  Then when I started my new plan in August, and found that I did not have to exercise to lose those 26 pounds, I stopped the excessive exercising and went down to 1-2 days per week, allowing my body to heal.

So glad I did, because yesterday my intentions were to only run a little and walk most of a 5k.  I ended up running the whole thing in 43 minutes. My personal best time is 38 minutes. So I was pretty pleased to do that well the first time out!!!

Today I feel great. I am appropriately sore and have a lot of energy!!!  I will be walking for a half hour today.

Anyway I'm feeling great and so happy to be back on an exercise schedule!!!

How about you ~ are you working your plan????

Have a fit day!!!!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Back to the gym!

The great thing about this new health plan is that I don't have to exercise to lose weight. I've lost 26 pounds without doing too much....However, coming from being overly active, with running, biking, walking, weights, rowing etc...this has been a struggle for me. Instead of the 5-6 days of my usual exercise time, I've cut down to 1-2 days per week.

Now I'm ready to get back to it!! I've scheduled some running events that I need to get in shape for. First up is the Jingle Bell 5k run in December. Then Shamrock 15k in March and 2 half marathons in May.


I have not been running too much lately, I've been lifting weights and some cardio, mostly walking. Today, I'm going to the gym with my friend, and we are starting our 5k training. It will be interesting to see how different it feels to be 26 pounds down from the last time I ran. I bet I won't have the feet and ankle problems I had last summer!

So excited!!

Are you ready to get your weight off and become the fit person you want to be? If so, lets do this thing!!


Have a fit day!!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Changing my Goal

When I started my health and fitness plan, my goal was to reach 160 pounds. At 274 pounds, I thought that that goal was achievable...That "one" day I would reach that number. Never thought I would even consider reaching anything less than that. NO WAY!

Once I got started and had some success, I decided that I could probably reach 150 pounds. That seemed possible.....

Now, with my new plan, I think I can reach 140 pounds!!! So doable!!

Inching my way to my goal. One healthy step at a time.

How about you? Are you ready to reach your goals. If so, let me know, I'd be happy to help!! Contact me at transparent.joy@gmail.com

Have a fit day!!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

This year, is probably the first year in my entire adult life, that I have not had Halloween candy...not one bite!!! The great thing is, is I don't miss it. I have not felt like I've been deprived of anything. How did I do it, well first off, properly fueling my body has helped. The other thing is, I've been busy making things for my friends and neighbors. Instead of my usual "language of Love" - making sweets or goodies, This year, I painted little wooden pumpkins for the adults....and well I did give a little bag of candy to the kids. Could not help myself. At least it was little, unlike other years when their bags would be stuffed with goodies. I think the hardest thing, for me, is trying to figure out what to do...how to show love...without using food.

Instead of candy, my goodies have been.....veggies!!!
Love them!! I've noticed since I have not had sugar in my system that my moods are more even keel and I not plagued by cravings.

Seems before, my brain was so consumed with how and when I was going to have my next sugar fix. Now, I have clarity of mind and a whole lot more energy!! I've been more creative and active than I have ever been since starting my new plan.

I really want to live life and live to its fullest. I'M HAVING A BLAST!!

Taking one healthy step at a time!!

How are you doing this Halloween?

Have a fit day!

Monday, October 28, 2013


Went into my favorite...OK my only clothes store that has worked of me. Their sizes range from 14 on up. In the past, if they did not have what I needed then I went without, because I just could not find things at other stores. Well to be honest, I just got too overwhelmed at other stores and would give up too easily.

Well anyway, I needed a new pair of pants.  I went in wearing size 18. I tried on what I thought would fit - size 16's.  And found that I was wrong. I ended up buying size 14, which is the smallest size in the store. I went home all excited and modeled my new outfit and my Husband and Daughter both said, that the pants were too big!

Oh no!  I can't shop there anymore.  Because the 14's are the smallest size they carry!!!!!

What a problem!!!

So excited my new plan is working!!  I've lost 26 pounds since August. I'm feeling great!  I love the plan and the support I get. I don't feel deprived. And the best thing is.......it's working!!!

Leave a comment with your contact information if you are interested in how I'm doing this.

Have a fit day!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Old Tapes are Dead!!

Yesterday I had the awesome pleasure of taking my Granddaughter to school and helping her class for the day. I was really excited to do this at first. Then as the time approached, fear started to set in. All of a sudden all of those old tape, emotions and dread filled my heart and I started to panic. I got that flee and flight feeling...I so wanted to run away!!! Here's what I was thinking.....

Oh no....I'm fat, what if the kids make fun of me. What if the kids make fun of my Granddaughter because she has a fat Baboo (that's what she calls me), what if I can't sit on the chairs, what if I break a chair, what if I embarrass my Grand Baby, what if, what if, what if.....

Then to add to my anxiety, I picked her up and before we arrived to the school, her countenance changed and she became very sullen. I kept asking her what was wrong, was she sick, was she missing her mom, was she......and my mind was thinking...was she embarrassed of me?  After many questions, she would not answer me. When we finally got to the school, the tears started to flow, for her first, then mine were welling up in my eyes. I pleaded with her to tell me what was wrong. The more I asked her, the more she cried. Finally, I had a decision to make.....was I going to rise up and do the right thing and get her into the school or was I going to do what I wanted to do and leave the school and take her out for ice cream?

Finally I got my strength and found my mommy voice...well I guess it's my Grammy voice and I told her that we were going to school!!

We both bravely walked to her class. The minute she walked over the threshold, she was all smiles and ready for her school day.

Soon the old tapes of all the bad things that could happen started to roll in my head. Again, I gathered my strength, oh and of course I was shooting up some prayers to the Lord for help, and I began to address those old lies.

  • Yes, I still have some weight to lose and no....no kids made fun of me. And even if they did, so what, I know that I'm making great choices now and weekly those extra pounds are coming off.
  • None of the kids made fun of my Granddaughter. In fact, they will probably not make fun of my weight, because I'm starting to look more normal, but they will probably make fun of her, because she has a Grandma named Baboo!
  • Not only could I fit on the Kindergarten school chair, but I did not break one. I was very comfortable and my butt, just barely hung over the seat. 
  • And finally I did not embarrass my Granddaughter. In fact, she proudly stood with me at recess and her friends were very kind to me. One little boy held my had for quite a while. So cute!!
So goodbye old fat tapes!! You are lies, you don't apply to me anymore. I am throwing you away and you will not stop me from doing anything I want or need to do!! I am free from you!!

Do you have some old tape that you need to throw away? If so, do it now!!! If you are brave enough to do it, you will find freedom!! I know, because I'm feeling free today!!

Have a fit day!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Onderland ~~~ Finally!!

I finally made it. Today I weighed in at 199 pounds. I cannot tell you the last time I was at this number. It was many...many...many years ago. I mean years ago! I've been waiting for this number for a long, long time. Last year I got close. I made it to 200 pounds....then the last 6 months or so I slowing gained 15 pounds back and then I hit a plateau. So frustrating!

Finally - The extra 15 pounds are off and I'm now in new territory. I'm in Onderland!!!  So excited, I can't even believe it!!

Well now...I have a new focus. My next goal is to get to 189 pounds. So amazing!!

Oh my goodness that is so foreign sounding to me. OH MY GOODNESS!!

Oh...yeah..I forgot. I've hit another milestone. I've lost 75 pounds so far!! So awesome!!

I finally feel like I can make this happen! I still have a long way to go, but I'm more than 1/2 way there. Oh...My...Goodness...oh my GOODNESS!!! I'm going to do this!! I'm going to get this done!!

I am sooooo jazzed!!

How about you? Are you reaching your health and fitness goals?

Lets do this!!

Keep focused!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

No Matter What!

You know you can do many things if you put your mind to it. (Not all things, but many!) Even exercising while camping!!

See me!!

Yep that's me. Geez, I need to get a better bra!!!...Anyway, I decided to get back to my regular exercise plan, even while on vacation. I took a 36 minute walk, I lifted weights, did lunges and squats and jumped roped. I have to say, I have to practice with the jump rope, not very good at it....YET!!

Even though I've lost 13 pounds and I'm at 202 now, I still look like I did when I weighed 215. Geez!! Hopefully it's just the ginormous t-shirt I had on.

As well as exercising, I stayed on my diet plan and lost another pound (Even on vacation!!) ~  13 pounds so far!!

Feeling a little better now and I have a little more energy. I got back to my treadmill yesterday and I thought I would just walk two miles and ended up running the whole thing. Felt great!!

Anyway...how are you doing? I hope you are reaching your health and fitness goals!!

Keep Focused!!!  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Almost there!!!!

Yesterday I was at my daughters house.  First time I went somewhere where the food was out of my control. ( I did have my secret stash of appropriate foods.  Just in case) We had gotten to her house around 5:00 and I found out that my daughter and Son and Law had eaten a late lunch. So they were not quite hungry. But I was starved. So we scourged around her fridge and I found some chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and some fat free salad dressing.  I was good to go. Sad thing was there was only enough for one so I got the good stuff. Everyone else had grilled cheese sandwiches.  

After dinner we got the kids bathed and settled down with a snack. I had both of my granddaughters on my lap and they we chewing on two gummy Starburts and a tiny cup of Gold Fish crackers.  They both kept saying you want one Baboo?  That's what they call me. Anyway I kept telling them no thank you I'm good.  But they kept asking.  At the time I was both wanting some and repulsed by the smell of them.  Thankfully I opted out and did not spend any calories on that!!

This week I was down 2 pounds. 11.6 in 3 weeks.  Almost to wonderland!!!!!!

How are you doing?  

Keep focused!!!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Not Gonna Lie....

During the Labor Day Holiday we will be having a week of family and fun! Yesterday we did the food shopping for the week and nothing but good stuff landed in our cart. No sugar or "yummy" goodness found its way into our grocery bags!!!  We purchased nothing but good meats, some fruit and veggies. That's all!!!!

 I'm not gonna lie and say that I wasn't feeling just a tad jealous when looking at all the other Labor Day shoppers.  Geez, in their carts, all I saw were chips, cookies, candy, beer, beer, beer....did I say beer?   I also saw people buying donuts and bread and ICE CREAM  and  soda and cake!!!!!!!!

Not gonna lie.  I wanted some.  OK I wanted a lot of it.  Oh ICE CREAM!!!!!!

Fortunately my good senses kicked in and I realized that I'm not deprived. I have excellent food to eat and some sugar free snacks. I REALLY AM SATISFIED with what I have. To get over that yucky feeling, all it took was that I stayed focused on my shopping list, I persevered and got out of the store. And very soon, all was well!!!

Bonus part is.....If I just keep focused and not lose my head I will see a significant weight loss on Monday.  Imagine.....losing weight even on a holiday!!!

How about you...On holidays, do you just do what you always do and buy your traditional goodies and yummy goodness? Or do you stay focused on your health and fitness plan during a holiday?

How about this year...we stay focused!!!!!

Are you with me?!?!?!?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's not what it seems....

We live in the country. Sort of....We are 1 minute from farm lands and about 10 minutes from the mall. We recently got new neighbors. They live in the old farm house behind our house and they have about an acre of land and I can see their comings and goings from our upstairs bedroom window.

Yesterday morning, it was kind of a fall like morning. Kind of hazy and foggy and cool. There was really a delightful feel in the air...all crisp and fresh. I happened to look out at my neighbors farm and I saw...through the fog...what I thought was a deer.

It's a rare thing to have such a sighting and I was delighted to get the opportunity to view wildlife while standing in my bedroom.

This little deer was majestic and really beautiful with the silhouette of its body standing strong in the fog. I was reveling in the moment and enjoying all of my senses experiencing this amazing time. The sights and smells were truly over the top and really hard to describe!!

After some time of watching my deer friend, I realized that it did not move for quite some time. I thought, hummm is it hearing something and getting ready to take off....is it sighting some delectable  yummy somewhere... What could this beauty be doing?

So after a considerable amount of time watching, I regretfully had to get ready for work...all the while thanking God for such a beautiful sight and thinking how lucky I am to be living where I am able to see such a thing.

I hurried to get myself ready so I could spend some more time watching nature through my window. I could not get done fast enough!

Soon I was back at my window, perched on my chair... and I realized that that deer still had not moved and it had been over a half hour since I last saw it. Humm...I wondered...what could be up?

Then suddenly....I realized it was a lawn ornament deer!!!!

No wonder the dumb thing did not move!!!


Now I had a choice to make about this situation....

  • I could chalk it up to just another dumb thing I got myself into.
  • I could have allowed it to ruin my day.
  • I could have beaten myself up for not realizing the obvious.

I could have done a number of things to discount that beautiful thing that happened that morning.

Just like our health and fitness journey.

We can go through this journey....doing all the right things and the minute we get on the scale all the good things, happy feelings, accomplishments, goals, success, happy times, and determination can go right out the window, because of what that scales says. We choose to let that happen. We choose to let that scale tell all. If we lose, well we are awesome.....but if we don't, then we are........







Self Hating


and on and on.....

We can allow that thing to tell us all that. Or we can remember that that scale does not tell the whole story. Just because that number did not change, it does not always mean that you're a failure or a loser. It's just not what it seems.

If you are working your plan and staying true to what you know you need to do. Then you need to remember that other things are going on. If you are working out, you are getting stronger, leaner and healthier. If you are keeping your calories at the fat burning range, you will get thinner. If you are doing all the right things to get healthier. Then it will happen. You will see success!!!

So don't allow the scale to tell the whole story. Just do what you know to do. EVERY DAY!!! Don't give up and keep pushing through!! You keep focused and your will reach your health and fitness goals.

Are you with me?

Keep focused!!